Over the past school year, my grade 7s have been blogging and tweeting about our classroom activities. While we mastered safety and appropriate behavior online, our site was private. However, my students have grown so much in their online citizenship that we are ready to share our learning with you. Please check out our classroom blog and follow the link to our twitter account if you are interested.
Throughout my engagement with technology, I have come a long way. However, I know that there is still room for improvement. On pinterest, I found another infographic (surprise!) on actions teachers can take to become better educators and leaders of students in the 21st century.
So far, my journey using technology for learning purposes has led me to THINK beyond the classroom, BECOME aware of other good teachers, CAPTURE what students are learning through documentation, PRACTICE using technology before doing it in the classroom, use SOCIAL MEDIA to connect with others and add a GAMING element to learning. I realize that while these are notable changes, they only take place at the classroom level.
The skills that I want to expand on are when I begin teaching are INCLUDING world in learning, LOOKING for ways to involve the community, HAVING a cause where students can engage in social responsibility and INCORPORATING parents into learning. If you view my Major Project/Unit Sample, I think that it includes some of these attributes, although I have yet to try this with a class.
Please comment if you can think of any other notable skills/attributes of a 21st century teacher!
In my last post, I included an infographic of responses a teacher may use during instruction to motivate and engage an off-task student. I recently found another relevant picture that provides some proactive strategies teachers can use to prevent off-task behavior all together. It focuses on engaging all of the different modes of learning we may find in our students such as audio, visual, kinesthetic or social. During internship, I used a few of these strategies without realizing it, however I would have found it helpful to have this explicit information beforehand so that I would have been able to consciously integrate all of these aspects during my planning. I am excited to try these strategies when I begin teaching!
As my peer Charlayna McGill learned about a new language for our ECMP 355 project, she came across some interesting resources that can support students in learning a new language.
The first one is a free program called byki that gives the learner flash cards and tests them on their understanding. As assessment, the student must type the word shown on the card in their native language to demonstrate their understanding.
The second resource is called Digital Dialects and provides games in almost every language to support a students learning of basic terminology and essential communicative phrases.
I think that these tools demonstrate just how much someone can learn online — and for the price of free! I would use these tools in my classroom to support EAL learners and also my instruction in French. On a personal level, I think it would be very cool to use these tools in a heritage project for students (I know I would be interested in learning Ukrainian).
Despite all of the positive attributes that these tools have for independent learning, they would still need to be used with the support of learning activities or interactions with someone who spoke the language. How cool would it be to have students skype with someone who speaks the language after they have studied it?!?
Emily Perreault chose to learn about dream catchers for her major project in ECMP using technology as a support. She used Pinterest, Wikispaces, and her mother’s traditional knowledge to document the process of creating these beautiful pieces. This learning experience would fit into the Saskatchewan curriculum beautifully as Grade 4 students learn about First Nations Tribes in Canada.
As I come to the end of my time in University, I thought this picture summarized my journey quite well. I have lost many times and learned that you don’t leave a 10 page paper until the night before and that sometimes you need to trash your meticulously planned lesson in order for real learning to take place. I have also experienced much success of which I am so grateful for. I have survived 4 years of university and grown through amazing experiences such as internship. I have met friends and colleagues who have influenced me forever and I have also realized the VALUE of longtime family and friends.
I will remember this motivating statement and I hope that I have many chances to both win and lose as I enter the world of teaching!